Meet the Maker: White Oak Gourmet

This week's feature on Meet the Maker highlights White Oak Gourmet Home Meal Delivery

We spoke with Thomas Leavitt to get information on his wonderful array of prepared meals found in our store that are both nutritious and tasty!



Q: How did you start your business and when?

A: My wife Lori and I have built White Oak Gourmet from a two person business into a growing prepared foods brand employing eight persons.

In 2004 I left as chef at Mimosa restaurant in Highland Park and began catering and cooking families' weekly meals. Our business grew through the years and we converted to a meal delivery service in 2013. Since the addition of our wholesale line in 2016 our business has grown tremendously.


Q: Why did you choose to work in the area of prepared foods that offer a healthy and nutritious option to customers?

A: The prepared food business has been a happy accident – we just stumbled into it. One of my cooks, who owned a local juice shop, asked me if I could supply the shop with wholesale sandwich wraps and salads. Other shops and cafes discovered the wraps and began placing orders; eventually, a #local food-store chain asked to carry the products. That pivot launched a new business for us and the wholesale business became a bigger part of White Oak Gourmet.


Q: What trends have you seen come and go and where do you think eating habits are headed currently?

A: People will always appreciate good food prepared with care and inspiration using the freshest and “clean” ingredients, meaning #organicor locally sourced and prepared from scratch without additives. There are always some new diet trends, low carbs, gluten free, #keto and such. We do our best to avoid common allergens and to cater to customers.


Q: Where do you source your ingredients for your prepared meals?

A: We source directly from local farmers in season and use local suppliers like Local Foods Grocer & Distributor or Phoenix Bean Tofu(aka Jenny's Tofu) for the bulk of our sources.

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Green Grocer Chicago | 1402 West Grand Avenue | Chicago | 312.624.9508